Example Letter #1
These days, it's hard not to see the grave needs going unmet throughout our city. From increasing homelessness and unemployment to decreasing governmental programs and support, there are signs everywhere of the precariousness of our situation. At the same time, however, (Name of Organization), which was founded upon the compassionate drive to recognize and address the injustices of our society, has been fighting not only to alleviate problems but also to identify the root causes and advocate for appropriate local and national policy changes.
Pursuing this mission, however, requires a healthy financial foundation. In the end, the heart of our financial foundation is built by conscientious citizens like you, who recognize that our services are meeting real needs, and that further solutions and interventions are necessary. We are writing to you today, therefore, to ask for your personal support of our mission.
As the enclosed brochure describes, there are numerous levels of support, each level significantly contributing to our ability to further our operations. Of course, we deeply appreciate a contribution at any level, but we hope that you will consider contributing at one of the top three levels, each of which includes a membership in our organization. As a member, you will receive our monthly publication and a range of other informative services.
We thank you very much for your compassion and support.
Example Letter #2
Imagine being able to walk or ride a bicycle all the way from Spring Lake to Heritage Park and back again, if you so choose! Our Springfield riverside trail is almost a reality. The rights of way have been negotiated and construction can begin as soon as we have raised the necessary $2,800,000. The city council has agreed to budget an adequate amount of money for maintenance of the trail, provided that no tax dollars are used for construction.
What a wonderful gift to give to our children and grandchildren. People of all interests and ages will be able to enjoy this beautiful, tree-lined piece of countryside running through the middle of our beautiful city.
Will you donate enough to buy a paving stone? Although much of the trail will be asphalt, the part near Heritage Park will be made up of paving stones engraved with the names of their donors. At a donation of just $200, you can enjoy a paving stone engraved with your name as a lasting tribute to your generosity. Some people plan to donate enough to buy a stone for each member of their family.
Even if you cannot contribute enough to buy a stone right now, every donation, no matter how much, will be gratefully received. This is a great opportunity to help begin construction of the Springfield riverside trail.
Please fill out the enclosed form with your name and the amount you would like to contribute at this time.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
Begin your letter with a compelling story, anecdote, statistic, question, hypothetical situation, offer of a premium (gift for contributing), etc.
Describe your organization or cause.
Tell specifically what the money raised will be used for.
If you have a specific monetary target that you are trying to reach, include that amount.
Ask for a specific monetary amount (or range of amounts).
Give the deadline by which money must be sent/received (convey a sense of urgency).
Illustrate what benefits (tangible or intangible) the donor will receive by contributing money to your cause.
Indicate how the reader can make the financial contribution (phone, mail, online, etc.). If you expect to receive donations by mail, include with your fundraising letter a self-addressed, stamped envelope.